Sheriff hopes to declare Kern not a sanctuary county

Youngblood to ask county supervisors to declare Kern a "Law and Order" county

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Sheriff Donny Youngblood said Thursday he wants Kern to be a "law and order" or "law abiding" county in contrast to a sanctuary county.

"I'm asking the board to adopt a resolution that says that we are not a sanctuary county," said Youngblood.

This defiant statement from Sheriff Youngblood coming just weeks after the state senate passed senate bill 54, which- if signed into law- would prevent local law enforcement from aiding immigration and customs enforcement in deporting undocumented immigrants. 

"I want to make sure the federal government and the state of California know where we stand," continued Youngblood.

While Youngblood concedes his proposed resolution would have no legal ramifications and if passed nothing would change about KCSO current operating procedures, he wants to send a message to the to majority blue state of California. 

"It's really somewhat symbolic but it also sends a message to our federal partners and state partners where we stand, and that we're going to follow the law," said Youngblood.

He noted he doesn't want Kern County to be penalized by the Trump administration.

"I certainly think that if the federal government decides that they're going to take on the state of California as being a sanctuary state, that I want to be outside that realm, so that I am eligible for federal funding, my county is eligible for federal funding," added Youngblood.

The Dolores Huerta Foundation, a non profit social advocacy group, believes such a proposal would increase fear in immigrant communities.

"It is a bad idea, we don't want law enforcement collaborating with ice and creating mistrust," said Dr. Gerald Cantu, civic engagement director for the foundation. 

The resolution will be brought before the  supervisors on May 2nd.

We reached out to all of the county supervisors today to hear where they stand on the issue.

Supervisors Perez, Couch, and Maggard did not get back to us by news time. Supervisor Scrivner's office said he was unavailable for comment and supervisor Gleason's office said he has not yet made a decision.

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